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UN nuclear inspectors arrived in Iran Saturday to visit the still-unfinished Arak heavy water plant for the first time in more than two years, the ISNA news agency reported. The visit comes just weeks after Iran clinched a landmark nuclear agreement with world powers under which it will freeze or curb some of its controversial nuclear activities in return for limited relief from crippling international sanctions. The Arak heavy water plant had been a sticking point in the negotiations because, once completed, it would produce plutonium as a by-product, potentially giving Tehran a second route to a nuclear weapons capability. The two inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will begin their work on Sunday at the site, 240 kilometres (150 miles) southwest of the capital, but ISNA did not say how long they would be there.
A clearly relieved American war veteran freed by North Korea after more than a month in detention arrived home in the United States Saturday where he was greeted by his family. Merrill Newman, 85, made a brief statement after landing at San Francisco airport, saying he was delighted to be back after his release on humanitarian grounds by the communist state, which said the American had cited his "sincere repentance." The official Korean Central News Agency said earlier that Newman's age and health condition had been factors that led to his release. Having been deported to Beijing, Newman boarded a commercial flight and landed in San Francisco around 9:00 am (1700 GMT).
By Simon Gardner and Dave Graham MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Lawmakers from Mexico's ruling centrist party and opposition conservatives have reached agreement in principle on a draft energy bill that includes contracts ranging from profit-sharing and risk-sharing to licenses, a top lawmaker told Reuters on Saturday. Approval of the bill would mark the end of the decades-long oil and gas monopoly held by state-run oil company Pemex, which is struggling to reverse a sharp slide in oil output due to years of chronic under-investment. The bill, which would keep ownership of crude in state hands, is at the center of an economic reform drive that President Enrique Pena Nieto hopes will boost long-lagging growth in Latin America's No.2 economy. Lawmakers from the Pena Nieto's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conservative National Action Party (PAN) were to meet later on Saturday to present the bill, and were expected to start debating it on Sunday.